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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 661
01 Dec. 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 November 2008 and 30 November 2008.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC).

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-060A 33443 Progress-M 01M 26 November 2008
2008-059A 33441 STS 126 15 November 2008
2008-058A 33439 Cosmos 2445 14 November 2008
2008-057A 33436 Astra 1M 05 November 2008
2008-056B 33434 Chuang Xin 05 November 2008
2008-056A 33433 Shiyuan 3 05 November 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Progress-M 01M is a Russian cargo carrier that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur on 26 November 2008. It carried 2.5 tonnes of food, fuel, water, and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked with the ISS at 12:38 UT on 26 November and delivered the cargo. The spacecraft was intended to dock automatically, but problems with the automatic docking procedure prompted a change in the process resulting in cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov using manual controls to complete the docking process. The initial orbital parameters were period 88 min, apogee 205.8 km, perigee 151.15 km, and inclination 51.6°.
STS 126 is an American Shuttle that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 00:55 UT on 15 November 2008. It carried seven American astronauts and 14.5 tonnes of construction materials and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked with the ISS at 22:01 UT on 16 November. The main objectives were to enhance the facility to accommodate six astronauts (instead of the current three), install an additional bathroom and a urine processor to produce drinking water. Also conducted were four spacewalks to repair the solar array orientation joints. The initial orbital parameters were period 89 min, apogee 236.3 km, perigee 185 km, and inclination 51.59°. It undocked from ISS at 14:47 UT on 28 November and landed at 21:25 UT on 30 November at Edwards Air Force Base.
Cosmos 2445 is a Russian military craft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Plesetsk at 15:50 UT on 14 November 2008. There are reports that specify it as a photo-reconnaissance craft. The initial orbital parameters were period 89 min, apogee 307.7 km, perigee 166.97 km, and inclination 67.15°.
Astra 1M is a European (Luxembourg-registered) geostationary communications craft that was launched from Baikonur by a Proton M rocket at 20:44 UT on 05 November 2008. The 5.3 tonne (with fuel) craft carries 32 (+4) Ku-band transponders to provide HDTV to Europe and Middle East, direct-to-home, after parking over 19.2° E longitude.
Shiyuan 3 (also spelled as Shiyan 3), and Chuang Xin 1-02 are two Chinese craft that were launched by a Long March 2D rocket at 00:15 UT on 05 November 2008 from Jiquan Satellite Launch Center. Shiyuan was developed by the Harbin Institute of Technology for experiments on new technologies in atmospheric exploration. Chuang Xin 1-02 was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and will be used to collect hydrological and meteorological data for disaster relief. The initial orbital parameters of both were similar: period 100.8 min, apogee 804 km, perigee 786 km, and inclination 98.5°.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Global Positioning System satellites useful for navigational purposes and geodetic studies.

High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from the network of about 400 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International GNSS Service (IGS). The IGS is a service of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).

     FTP:  [directory /igscb]

The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 518. It will not be repeated since an excellent source of trajectory- and science-related GPS information is at:

It provides many links to GPS related databases.

The latest addition to the fleet is GPS 2R-18 (2007-062A).

Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS constellation.

SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list.

All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general Cosmos series. The Cosmos numbers invoked by USSPACECOM have often differed from the numbers (NNNN) associated in Russia; when different, the USSPACECOM Cosmos numbers are shown in parentheses. The corresponding GLONASS numbers are Russian numbers, followed by the numbers in parentheses that are sometimes attributed to them outside Russia.

The operating frequencies in MHz are computed from the channel number K. Frequencies (MHz) = 1602.0 + 0.5625K and L2 = 1246.0 + 0.4375K.

The standard format of the GLONASS situation last appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 545. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Information-Analytical Center (IAC), Russian Space Agency.

According to IAC the latest additions to the fleet are 2007-065A, 2007-065B, and 2007-065C.

Visually bright objects.

See Users must register. Conditions apply.

Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.

Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2008)

2008-058B (33440)    R/B Soyuz-U                      21 November
2008-051B (33402)    R/B(1) Pegasus                   16 November
1992-085A (22255)    MOLNIYA 3-43                     08 November

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

This section contains information or data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.

The Indian Lunar orbiter Chandrayaan 1 (2008-052A) was inserted into high-apolune orbit on 08 November 2008. The craft released the 35 kg Impactor on 14 November, just before attaining a circular orbit at 100 km altitude. The impactor had carried a video camera, and a mass spectrometer. There were reports that the orbiter experienced over-heating to 50 C on 25 November. It became normal after switching off a few sensors temporarily.

Related NSSDC resources.

NSSDC/WDC for Satellite Information is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Many space physics datasets are on-line for electronic access through:

For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, Code 690.1, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information ( Information on the current status of the instruments on board from the investigators will be most welcomed. Precomputed trajectory files and orbital parameters of many magnetospheric and heliospheric science-payload spacecraft may be obtained from:

Other files of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via the URL,

Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed through the URL:

Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft may be accessed through links from the URL:

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